I’m over hearing about the latest diet or which one is better. We get sucked into the easy claim that “you can lose 7 pounds in 7 days”. The reality is, there is no perfect diet, no better diet or best diet. It just doesn’t exist.
Everyone is different. You are biochemically unique. We are different genders and ages, with different body types, and different lifestyles. Have different interests, health goals, and activity levels. So, to think that there is one “perfect” diet that will work for everyone is crazy. The perfect diet for you is the one that you enjoy, makes you feel your best, and that you can maintain long-term.
Anyone can complete a 4-week health challenge or follow a 2- week detox but keeping #healthyhabits for the long-term is the tricky part. It’s not difficult to swing from one extreme to another. Eating low carb all week, only to go off the rails for Bagel Friday at the office. What is hard is keeping healthy habits going for the long-term. You need to look at the big picture and make small changes that will add up and last a lifetime. You can’t make lifetime changes from detoxes or fad diets. Eating well is about enjoying what you eat, not a chore or a punishment. So, don’t think of being #healthy as being off or on the diet wagon, look at the big picture and focus on some easier small habit changes that you can build on over time.
Focus on Real Food – 1-Ingredient Items
The foundation of any healthy eating plan focuses on #realfood. The quality of what you eat is more important than when you eat or how much you eat. The more you focus on eating #realfood, you will see the health changes you want and the better you will feel. It’s that simple. Do you have to eat real whole foods 100% of the time? No! There should always be a little room for some mindful indulgences. But, if you can focus on real foods the majority of the time, you will find yourself being able to improve your health and maintain your goals long-term.
Being Mindful about What You Eat – Learning to differentiate cravings from hunger.
As humans, we are wired to eat. In today’s world, food is around 24/7. Causing us to eat out of habit or boredom but not always because we are truly hungry. We eat because it is “breakfast time” or “dinner time” or we graze all day. We are used to eating whatever, whenever. Today, food is around all of the time and we have unlearned to distinguish hunger from cravings. We need to think before we eat. Are you really hungry? True hunger symptoms are low energy, stomach is growling, can’t focus, headache… So before you start eating just because, check in with you to see why you are eating. For more tips on how to avoid mindless eating check out this blog post.
Have a Few Go-To Recipes
One of the secrets to being able to eat well for the long-term is knowing how to cook. You don’t need to be a 5-star chef but having the ability to cook and make real food taste good will serve you well. You only need to start with a few basic recipes that you have mastered. By learning a couple of breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes that you like and don’t take a ton of time to prep and cook will make it much easier to eat real foods more often than not. Need some ideas? Recipes
Find 10-Minutes, 30-Minutes, or 1 Hour
Do you know what the difference in people that eat well regularly and those that don’t? Willpower? No. It’s being organized. Being able to eat doesn’t just happen, you have to find the time to do it. Planning is the key. You have to plan the time to write out you will be eating. At first, it will take you longer but after a while, you can get it done in less than 10-minutes. Take an hour to go grocery shopping. 10-minutes to pack your lunch for the next day. 30-minutes to make your dinner at night. Make extra so that you don’t have to cook the next night. Doesn’t take a ton of time planning and prepping but it does take some. The time you put in will pay off tenfold. It's a great way to make you a priority.
Focus on Creating Habits, not Changes.
Yes, you can eat a plain chicken breast with veggies instead of a burger. Anyone can but can they do that day after day? To create a healthy lifestyle that last long-term you need to have great habits that fit your lifestyle and that you enjoy. Focus on what you like not what you hate. Don’t like kale, don’t eat it. Can’t choke down a green smoothie, don’t drink it. Love soup? Great, make a batch for easy lunches. Got a favorite veggie? Think of ways to add it to your meals. I share lots of meal plan ideas and recipes with my clients and followers as ideas and inspiration. I don’t expect you to follow blindly. I want you to discover new ways to change your eating habits so that you enjoy your changes and stick with them. Changing your eating and lifestyle habits is not easy and it takes time. So, start with a few #healthyhabits and grow from there.
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Hello! I'm Jori Zimmerman, a nutritionist and owner of Nutrition Savvy. I work with individuals that are looking to make dietary and lifestyle changes that will lead them to living a healthier and higher quality of life.